Tabletop RPG Review: MCC/DCC Lankhmar Free RPG Day 2016

I got a copy of this out of a Goodman Games grab bag, as it came out several years before I tried Dungeon Crawl Classics.  There are two short adventures inside.  The first is The Madhouse Meet.  At the time, the Lankhmar box set hadn’t come out, and I believe this was essentially a first taste.  The second is The Museum at the End of Time for Mutant Crawl Classics.

The Madhouse Meet is (as the title mentions) a meet scenario.  This is something specific to DCC Lankhmar, in a sense, replacing the zero level funnel from the standard game.  I could see this one working out, but it does ride a line, very close to dangerous territory.  It begins with characters in chains, and that’s a common, but potentially off-putting way to start a scenario.  It’s very important for players to know that they’re going to be able to escape and get the equipment they chose for their character sooner rather than later.  Otherwise, it can quickly grow annoying.  When I read through it, I even thought about the possibility of starting the scenario at the moment they’ve choked a guard and gotten the key, or spotted a piece of metal they can use as a lockpick, or some other point where the players are on the cusp of escape, so that the frustration doesn’t set in before the session gets going.  The rest of the scenario looks like fun.  It’s very quick and very simple, but not in a bad way.  As written, it’s a fairly self-contained story, but it also recommends ways to alter the ending slightly so that the story could have effects for your characters down the line.

Though still short, The Museum at the End of Time is somewhat more involved.  There’s a lot for your characters to discover (and get killed by) in this.  I don’t know if there’s anything especially groundbreaking or surprising for Mutant Crawl Classics.  It feels like a very good, solid, typical (but not in a bad way) scenario.  This looks like meat and potatoes stuff for the game.

If you’re interested in either the DCC Lankhmar variation or Mutant Crawl Classics, this would be a nice, if not necessary addition to your collection.

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